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What Happens If You Can’t Afford to Post Bond After You’ve Been Arrested?

As some of you may already be unfortunate enough to know, jail can tend to be a pretty unpleasant place to stay. It’s cold, has no windows or outside light, and the correctional officers are usually less than friendly. Plus, it’s nearly impossible to maintain your twitter account from inside jail. Therefore, often times, after a person has been arrested, he or she posts bond so that they may be released from jail while waiting for the criminal charge to be filed against them and the case to be resolved. This way, whether it takes 30 days or 10 months for the case to be resolved, the person can try to move on with his or her life and put the arrest behind them. But, what happens if you are arrested, and you can’t afford to post bond? Are you simply left to helplessly rot and waste away inside the joint until the District Attorney finally gets around to investigating, reviewing, and filing formal criminal charges against you? Well, as you may have hoped, the answer is no.

Can You be Released from Jail because of a Delay in the Prosecution of your Case in Collin County, Texas

Fortunately, the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure provides that a defendant who is detained in jail pending trial for a criminal charge that has been filed against him or her must be released either on a personal bond or by reducing the amount of bail required, if the District Attorney is not ready for trial within:

  • 90 days from the time of arrest if he or she is accused of a Felony;
  • 30 days from the time of arrest if he or she is accused of a Class A Misdemeanor;
  • 15 days from the time of arrest if he or she is accused of a Class B Misdemeanor; or
  • 5 days from the time of arrest if he or she is accused of a Class C Misdemeanor.

However, these requirements do not apply to a person if he or she is currently serving time for a different offense. They also don’t apply if you are currently being held in jail while awaiting another criminal charge to be filed to which the above applicable time period has not yet expired. In addition, if you are found to be incompetent to stand trial, the above-referenced time periods do not apply to you while you are considered to be incompetent. Finally, if you are being held for a violation of a previous bond condition that was related to the safety of a victim of the alleged offense or to the safety of the community, the above requirements do not apply to you.

What Should You Do if You are being Held in Jail because You Cannot Afford to Make Bail?

If you are being held in jail because you cannot afford to make bail or post bond, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. Even if the above-referenced time periods have not yet expired, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can often times convince the Court to lower your bond to an amount that is reasonable and affordable for you. Additionally, if the above-referenced time periods have already expired, upon a proper motion, the Court must either lower your bond to an amount that you can afford or simply release you on your word that you will appear in Court once the District Attorney becomes ready for trial. So, if you or a loved one is currently being detained in jail while awaiting trial, I invite you to contact me at (972) 372-4054 with any questions or concerns that you may have.